Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Minister Deenihan Announces Conservation Plan for Tara

Press release from The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (An Roinn Ealaíon, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta)

24/01/2012 Minister Deenihan Announces Conservation Plan for Tara

 Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, TD. has announced today (Tuesday 24th January, 2012) that, in collaboration with the Office of Public Works and the Heritage Council, he has commissioned the Discovery Programme to undertake a Conservation Plan for the Hill of Tara, Co. Meath.

The Conservation Plan will illustrate the unique cultural and historical significance of Tara and identify appropriate policies to ensure its preservation and presentation. Minister Deenihan said that the Conservation Plan would “focus on the State-owned lands”.

The Minister said “the plan will catalogue the character and importance of the Hill of Tara and the issues impacting on it; it will also contain recommendations for policies that will help preserve its status as one of Ireland’s most outstanding national monuments”. The area to be examined includes the immediate environs of the Hill which contribute to the experience and enjoyment of the Hill.

Whilst the Conservation Plan will also consider access and visitor amenity issues, Minister Deenihan stressed that Tara was “essentially an outdoor experience and that should not change”.

The Minister emphasised that the emerging Conservation Plan would “place a key emphasis on consultation with stakeholders, and the local community in particular”. Ultimately, it is intended that the Conservation Plan for the Tara complex will act as an overarching framework for management and interpretation.

Archaeological works to investigate the significant degradation of the covering of the Mound of the Hostages have recently been completed. These excavations have resulted in the removal of a portion of the earthen mound over the passage tomb. Design options for conservation works to the passage tomb and the restoration of the mound are now being considered and will begin as soon as possible.